Traders clash over control of HCCI

Goharullah group having lost license in 2008, came back after winning appeal on May 10

Our Correspondent May 27, 2024


The fight over control of Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) returned full circle as the group of traders led by Seth Goharullah tried to wrest possession of the chamber's office from the Adeel Siddiqui led group.

A face-off occurred between both the groups of the traders outside the HCCI's office adjacent Hyderabad press club in Saddar area on Sunday.

The traders shouted and hurled accusations and taunts. There were also reports of men from the two sides pushing each other. However, the police prevented the situation from flaring up. Siddiqui's group locked itself inside the chamber while Goharullah along with his supporters was present outside the main entrance till the filing of this report.

A police official, who requested anonymity, told The Express Tribune that Goharullah wanted to take control of the office. "He wants his padlocks on the gates from today."

The Director General Trade Organisations (DGTO), Islamabad, on January 27, 2020, cancelled the license of HCCI which was given to the Goharullah led group of traders and industrialists in 2008. The step was taken after the license's renewal remained pending for approval before the DGTO for around seven years.

Subsequently, Siddiqui's group was given license for the HCCI after which his group took over possession of the chamber's office. However, the Islamabad High Court heard the petition, filed by Goharullah's group against the DGTO, on May 10 and the court set aside the organization's orders which cancelled one license and issued another one on April 1, 2022.

The IHC ordered the DGTO to again hold a hearing of the Goharullah led chamber under section 7 (2) of the Trade Organizations Act, 2013, in order to decide which group of traders qualified for the license.

A police official said that SHO Cant police station Razzak Commando was locked inside the chamber with Siddiqui's group while DSP Cantt Iftikhar Buriro was present since afternoon outside the gate to prevent Goharullah's group from forcibly entering the premises. The office's gate has been locked from inside in fear that both the groups will resort to physical fighting.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2024.


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